Winning the Silicon Sweepstakes


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Can the United States Compete in Global Telecommunications?

Rob Frieden

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Price: $48.00
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Visit the author's blog, TeleFrieden.

In this timely book, Rob Frieden points out the many ways the United States has fallen behind other countries in telecommunications and broadband development. Despite the appearance of robust competition and entrepreneurism in U.S. markets, there is very little of either. Because of an inattentive Congress and a misguided FCC unwilling to confront real problems, industry incumbents can earn healthy profits while keeping the United States in the backwaters of Internet-based information, communication, and entertainment markets. At every turn, regulators have tipped the scales in favor of large established companies, creating an environment that stifles innovation. As a consequence, Americans are stuck with relatively slow connectivity and with equipment that lacks features that have been staples in other countries for years. In telecommunications, the United States is a little like a third world country that is developing under crushing bureaucracies without recognizing that the rest of the world has passed it by. Professor Frieden not only shows how failure can intrude on the ability of the United States to compete but suggests how to restore its competitiveness.

Rob Frieden is Pioneers Chair and Professor of Telecommunications and Law at Pennsylvania State University.

"In a time of dramatic change in telecommunications and information, this book provides a practical guide to the most important stakeholders, issues, problems and options now and in the near future.  The questions discussed so clearly here will impact everyone."—Christopher Sterling, Professor of Media and Public Affairs and of Public Policy and Public Administration, The George Washington University

“In this comprehensive and compelling book, Rob Frieden explains how market and regulatory failure in US broadband policy has left the US lagging its more successful peers. He explains cogently and concisely what needs to be done to recover this situation. He is as ever masterful in explaining the subtle and not-so-subtle misdesigns of law and policy for Internet connectivity. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what's really gone wrong in US communications policy in the first decade of the twenty-first century, and how to go about fixing it.”—Christopher Marsden, Senior Lecturer. Director of LLM in Information Technology Media and E-commerce, University of Essex


"In this seminal new book, Prof. Frieden sets out to enhance the digital literacy of consumers, and shows that not all is what it seems. If the US is really leading the world in the digital revolution, how come it ranks so poorly against other developed nations and why are US phone bills are so difficult to understand?"—Tim Kelly, Senior ICT Policy Specialist, The World Bank

"Rob Frieden is one of the most thoughtful, thorough people working on these issues today. He comes with a fine eye for detail, a trained mind, and no financial interest to sway his opinions. Anyone who cares about our digital future needs to wake up and pay attention to what he's saying."—Harold Feld, Legal Director, Public Knowledge

"I highly recommend Winning the Silicon Sweepstakes for anyone who wants to understand today's world of screens and gadgetry. Rob Frieden’s adroit analysis of ICE, the domain of information, communications and entertainment, is an indispensable roadmap for individual empowerment and national development in the 21st century. His is a disturbing picture of how corporate and government policies have united to victimize consumers. These policies have resulted in consumers being overcharged while also having their choices restricted. Yet Frieden's roadmap also includes a guide to what can be done to change things in order to create a new ‘ICE age’ for the benefit of all. A great read!"—James E. Katz, PhD, Chair, Department of Communication, School of Communication and Information Director, Center for Mobile Communication Studies Rutgers University


"Rob rightly has earned a reputation as an original and deep thinker on the business and regulatory aspects of telecommunications policy. With his new book, he has drawn together many of his keen insights into one convenient place. Anyone looking for a ready guide to understanding the complexities—and shortcomings—of U.S. telecom policy today can do no better than turn to Rob's book."—Richard S. Whitt, Google, Inc.

"Rob Frieden is one of the best informed, thoughtful, and prolific analysts of the American media landscape. In this brilliant book, Frieden identifies the causes and dynamics that have caused the U.S. to lose its traditional international pre-eminence in the digital realm. He traces the impact of governmental dogmatism and stakeholder gridlock as the drivers of America’s fall from digital grace. To remedy this situation, this book aims to first raise the digital literacy of consumers, both in the marketplace and in the political sphere."—Eli Noam, Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia University Business School, and Director, Columbia Institute for Tele-Information


“Too often the politics and economics of the new information environment take a backseat to the technology itself. But understanding this political economy is as important to digital literacy as mastering the latest app or (heaven forbid) knowing how to circumvent the latest copyright protection technology. Using a blend of detailed case studies and insightful analyses, Rob Frieden shows how failures of both the market and government have weakened the United States’ place as the leader in global telecommunications, the price we pay for this decline, and what needs to be done to win “the silicon sweepstakes.”—Michael X. Delli Carpini, Dean, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
ISBN: 9780300177534
Publication Date: February 7, 2012
432 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4